Android Things Developer Preview 3 is out with full support for Bluetooth and USB

The third major developer preview of Android Things is now out and it adds full support for vital connectivity options.

Bluetooth remains important for many IoT deployments and today’s addition to Google’s platform will be welcome news for many developers. First noted back in February, the latest developer preview adds support for Android’s existing APIs for both standard Bluetooth and its BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) sibling.

Now, applications designed for Android Things can interface with custom USB devices

Google wants Android Things to be a simple platform for developers to build IoT applications using their skills for Google’s popular mobile operating system.

“Android developers can quickly build smart devices using Android APIs and Google services while staying secure with updates directly from Google,” says Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT at Google. “The System-on-Module (SoM) architecture supports prototyping with development boards, and then scaling them to large production runs while using the same Board Support Package (BSP) from Google.”

Existing samples such as Bluetooth LE advertisements and scanning and Bluetooth LE GATT can be used unmodified on Android Things. Google has also provided two new samples, Bluetooth LE GATT server, and Bluetooth audio sink.

USB support is also a welcome addition in the latest preview. Now, applications designed for Android Things can interface with custom USB devices without the need for root privileges or support from the Linux kernel.

Finally, Google is expanding its support for the maker community with the NXP Argon i.MX6UL development board joining the likes of Intel Joule and Raspberry Pi 3. Android Things now supports five in total as of writing.

What do you want to see in the next Android Things developer release? Let us know in the comments.

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